With the warm weather months upon us, many are getting outside to enjoy the nature and beauty of New York State. And why not? We have so many amazing places to visit and enjoy outdoor recreation. Get outside, and enjoy all that you can, before that other season we won't mention, takes over the great New York State outdoors.

And of course, there's always a "but remember this..." that goes along with all that outdoor fun. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a few things to make sure you are aware of when you step out the door of your home and into the wonderful outdoors this time of year.

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A Kind Act, But Not A Good Idea

That is, to remember the impact of our actions involving wildlife. And one of those actions may seem harmless and a kind act, but it is not. It can be very harmful to feed wildlife, which could result in serious consequences for both animals and humans.

Feeding Squirrel
Photo by Townsend Walton on Unsplash

Here's something you may not have known, but need to, should you ever encounter any wildlife creatures, the New York State DEC highly recommends you never feed any wildlife you may encounter.There are three animals that are illegal to feed in New York State - deer, bear, and moose.  is illegal in New York State, DEC highly discourages all feeding of wildlife.

But Why Can't I Feed That Wild Animal?

You may ask why should I refrain from feeding wildlife. Here's what the NYS DEC has to say about that:
  • Human food doesn't offer a healthy diet for animals. If they become dependent on human food, they stop feeding on natural foods, which can be detrimental to their health.
  •  Feeding wildlife can teach animals to not be afraid of humans, which greatly increases the chances of human-wildlife conflicts.
  •  Animals that become reliant on a year-round food source may not migrate during their normal migration season.
  • Feeding wildlife promotes the concentration of animals in a small area, which increases the chances of disease spreading.
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Learn more by visiting the NYS DEC Do Not Feed Wildlife page and Tips To Eliminate Wildlife Conflicts page.

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